Who Pays for Medical Bills After a Car Accident in West Virginia?
When you’re injured in a car accident, it only seems right that the person who caused the accident pay your medical expenses. Although West Virginia uses a fault system to assign liability for damages after a car accident, it can take a while to recover any money. Your options for pursuing payment of your medical expenses include:
- Filing a claim with your own insurance company
- Filing a third-party insurance claim against the company insuring the other driver
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries
- You may also want to consider one or more of the options outline below if you are unable or unwilling to pay your medical expenses yourself.
Private Health Insurance
Because West Virginia is a fault state, your health insurance provider should pay you expenses as it receives claims. However, state law allows it to seek reimbursement for claims paid on your behalf for injuries sustained in a car accident. This may be another insurance provider or the driver involved in the accident with you.
Auto Insurance Policy
Contact your insurance agent to inquire about your coverage for medical expenses after an accident. Your health insurance company may negotiate with the company providing your auto insurance to pay some or all your expenses, but that is not something that needs to concern you when seeking payment of your medical bills.
Coverage through Medical Payment Insurance
Medical payment insurance coverage, also known as med pay, is common in states like West Virginia that don’t have no-fault laws regarding auto accidents. This coverage pays the medical expenses of drivers and passengers who required medical attention after an accident up to the limits of the policy. This is typically $10,000 or less, and you are responsible to pay any amount that exceed the limits on your med pay policy.
Medicare or Medicaid
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people over age 65 and those who have certain permanent health conditions. The program will pay your entire healthcare costs associated with the accident, but can also seek reimbursement from your auto insurance provider or that of the other driver.Medicaid provides health insurance to low-income individuals and families who meet income criteria. Your healthcare providers will submit bills to Medicaid for your expenses and it should pay them on your behalf. Like Medicare and private health insurance, it can also seek reimbursement from other parties.
Medicaid provides health insurance to low-income individuals and families who meet income criteria. Your healthcare providers will submit bills to Medicaid for your expenses and it should pay them on your behalf. Like Medicare and private health insurance, it can also seek reimbursement from other parties.Workers’ Compensation for Injuries Sustained on the Job
Workers’ Compensation for Injuries Sustained on the Job
If you drove your own or a company vehicle as part of your job duties and got into an accident, the workers’ compensation company representing your employer must pay your medical expenses. This includes deductibles and co-payments that you might normally pay under your own health insurance policy.
Additionally, you can request reimbursement for your transportation costs associated with seeking medical treatment. This includes mileage, parking fees, and tolls. It is up to your employer’s workers’ compensation provider to seek reimbursement if it feels that another party bears responsibility for your injuries.
Should You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Car accident victims typically try some or all of these methods for seeking reimbursement for their medical expenses before considering legal action. It’s only when communications or negotiations break down that they feel they have no choice but to file a personal injury lawsuit. As parties fight over who is responsible for payment, you’re the one dealing with the stress of unpaid bills and possibly even collection activity from medical providers.
At Angotti & Straface, we work hard to hold the responsible party financially responsible for your medical and other expenses. If you’re interested in exploring the possibility of suing for damages, please contact us for a free initial case evaluation.